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*Another* Alitalia Countdown To Bankruptcy (jan'07)

*Another* Alitalia Countdown To Bankruptcy (jan'07)

Old Oct 10th, 2006, 11:41 AM
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*Another* Alitalia Countdown To Bankruptcy (jan'07)

Around this time last year they were also in bankruptcy countdown mode but I believe the Italian Gov't bailed them out in the 11th hour. http://ansa.it/main/notizie/awnplus/...0_1105379.html Regards, Walter
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Old Oct 10th, 2006, 12:36 PM
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Well, at least they have three months' left -- I am flying them from JFK to Dubai in November.
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Old Oct 11th, 2006, 09:43 AM
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I've been holding off purchasing tickets for our family trip in June, checking every day for the best flights from Boston to Milan then returning from Naples to Boston. Alitalia had the most convenient flight direct from Boston to Milan but I was worried about all of the negative comments I's read about them. I thought I'd wait and see if I could find a more reliable bet. Today all Alitalia flights from Boston to Milan have been removed at least from the kayak.com site. If I HAD booked that flight I can only assume that I'd be out the nearly $4,000. Phew.
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Old Oct 11th, 2006, 04:09 PM
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I just flew Alitalia to and from Rome. I had also read many negative commnets, especially regarding seating.

While I found the flight over to be pleasant enough (as pleasant as an overseas flight in coach can ever be), true to what I read, we did NOT get the seats we had been assigned in spite of calling to confirm, etc., etc.

We were told they had changed equipment and were given an aisle and middle seat. We refused this and were given 2 aisle seats, not together, obviously.

On the way back, the flight was delayed from 9:55 a.m. to about 12:45 - 1:00 p.m. We were told throughout the wait that our seating assignments were still valid, right up to boarding time. But, when we got on the plane itself, guess what. We were told it was "open seating"! I ended up with a window seat and my sister with an aisle seat (quite a distance away).

Also, I must say that the flight attendants were VERY scare once they served the dinner. Beverages were put out near the food service area, and we were on our own until the snack before landing.

I won't ever fly Alitalia again.
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Old Oct 12th, 2006, 04:25 AM
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I flew Alitalia from Dulles to Venice via Milan on September 27/28 and returned on October 9 from Rome to Newark. Contrary to what many posters have said, I was pleased with both flights.

-Flights arrived & left on time.
-Plane configuration was 2-3-2. Leg room and overall seat space was far better than on two Lufthansa flights in May.
-No luggage was lost.
-Meals were better than most economy flights that I have been on over the course of 20 years.
-Flight attendants were cordial.
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Old Oct 13th, 2006, 12:28 PM
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While we were in Italy recently, I saw a similar story in the Italian press. That story said that the more tickets Alitalia sells, the more money it loses ó its ticket sales are up, but its bottom line keeps going down.

Iím wondering if Alitalia is going to have to go through something like Swissair ó i.e., starting over from scratch. Iíve heard a lot of good reports on the new Swissair.

But of course, I still think the biggest problem with Alitalia (and the reason I wonít fly them) is the frequent strikes. I donít know if starting a new company would change that piece of the Italian culture.
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Old Oct 13th, 2006, 12:36 PM
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Alitalia has been trying to get Air France-KLM to buy them for the past 3 or 4 years. When they finally go bankrupt, it will probably happen.
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Old Oct 18th, 2006, 11:43 AM
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Oh great! I just bought 4 tickets this AM for Fl to Italy next March on Alitalia, and now I read this post.

For some reason, I'm not able to pull up the article, will have to shut down computer and re-try. But in the meantime, what are my options? Would the tickets be honored by another airline if this happens? Oh yikes!!!
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Old Oct 18th, 2006, 12:17 PM
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If I had the time and money I'd book my way to Rome out of Newark using NW or United. Then I'd plan to get offered denied boarding compensation in bothe directions when Alitalia folds. I'd end up with First class seats and a pocket full of change. Wooohooo!
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Old Oct 18th, 2006, 12:31 PM
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I don't know iof Italian bankruptcy is the same as in the US, but if they aren't even in bankruptcy yet and would just file for it, that means they are still operating, by definition, and flying. I think you can't be in bankruptcy and not exist, so the only thing you need to worry about in terms of other airlines accepting their tickets would be if they ceased existing or ceased operations. Sometimes when airlines are in bankruptcy, they might cut some flights or something, though, but they are still running.

I don't know why another airline would let you fly on them for free with a ticket from a defunct airline, but I don't know what kind of agreements or airline laws they have in Italy.
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Old Oct 18th, 2006, 01:03 PM
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Thanks, Christina.
I just called my credit card company to see if I had any options before the charge was approved, but of course the answer was NO.
It sounds like my best bet at this point would be to buy paper tickets, or would that be throwing good money after bad?
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Old Oct 18th, 2006, 01:17 PM
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We are leaving for Rome next Friday from Boston.

Other than calling to confirm the flight is there anything I need to do?
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Old Oct 18th, 2006, 03:14 PM
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Hagan, I'm sorry I don't know about Italian airlines. I've flown plenty of bankrupt airlines without any problems or doing anything different, but I don't know how long you can be in bankruptcy in Italy, etc. I never get paper tickets and I don't think it makes much difference, but maybe in Italy it does. If they wouldn't even possibly be in it until January, I wouldn't buy paper tickets as I just don't like them, but I really don't know what you should do. Maybe somebody else knows what happened when Swissair stopped flying or whatever.
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Old Oct 18th, 2006, 03:24 PM
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Christina, getting more info about SwissAir sounds like a good idea, actually. I was over on another site (TA) and the "Milan Expert" siad "not to worry", that Italy will never let Alitalia go under completely, there's too much pride involved. He mentioned that they might restructure as something different, i.e. SwissAir. Sure hope and pray he's right!!!
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Old Oct 18th, 2006, 10:07 PM
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If the Alitalia planes stopped flying temporarily, don't forget that the other Skyteam airlines will continue flying, often with Alitalia flight numbers.
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Old Oct 18th, 2006, 10:46 PM
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Also check http://ansa.it (no www) and click on News in English on the left of the screen for up to date information from Italy. Best wishes.
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Old Oct 19th, 2006, 12:17 AM
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It has been nine days since the original post. Have they gone into bankruptcy yet?????????????????????
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Old Oct 19th, 2006, 02:43 AM
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Alitalia isn't going to go bankrupt in the immediate future: it's got enough cash in hthe bank to pay its bills for a few months still. Whether its problems will tip it over toward the end of this year or early in 2007, though, is a different matter.

Since it takes about a second to google your way to the BBC's last story on the issue, it's scaremongering or hysteria to think or suggest there's any problem with flights between now and December.

Booking for flights with them after the new year, though, is a pure gamble. There's absolutely no way of knowing whether they'll be flying. And no other financially sensible airline would uplift passengers imprudent enough to take that risk.

Incidentally strikes are a symptom, not a cause, of Alitalia's problems. Overpowerful unions, and Italy's perpetual fantasy the rest of us are going to bail it out, mean that Alitalia has done less than any other European major to adjust to the post-Ryanair world. And it remains more dependent on the collapsing market for full-price intra-European travel than BA, AF/KLM and Lufthansa - all now turning into long-haul specialists. Unsurprisingly, they're all lobbying aggressively for Alitalia's euthanasia.

Personally, I think the complexity of the lobbying will prolong Alitalia's death throes till after the spring. But I'd rather risk my money on the 3.30 at Newmarket (or even a Las Vegas crap game) than on the likelihood of their being around for much of next year.
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Old Oct 19th, 2006, 06:21 AM
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Why is it that some airlines seem to be able to survive despite so-called "overpowerful" unions and others don't?
Are these the root cause of all airline woes or could it be that there is, in some quarters, a greater supply of seats than there is a demand.

Is airline management EVER the cause of any airline probelms or is it always those nasty people in the unions?
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Old Oct 19th, 2006, 07:36 AM
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Dukey: I can tell you that for Alitalia it's management. They issue tickets two weeks before for airports that are closed (Perugia closed for 10 days) and never contact you. They didn't have a car at the airport to transport people to another airport they didn't contact. They stopped flights to and from Dulles (IAD)for 5 months and didn't contact people.....then when I called to reconfirm my ticket they informed me and changed my return flight but cancelled my ticket by mistake. I called three times during the next week to re-confirm the change because I didn't receive a confirmation and three times they read my new ticket off and never told me that it had been cancelled. I found out at the airport. We flew from IAD to Milan to Rome. People on our fligt going from IAD to Milan to Venice were issued boarding passes at IAD and were never told they didn't have a return flight. I told them in Milan. The wife went to an Alitalia desk and was told that was correct, their return flight was cancelled but she couldn't help them. And that's why Alitalia has such problems because they have severe management problems, horrible food and rude employees.
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